Writing the Salvos’ story into song
BY ANTHONY CASTLE
Callum Greenaway is a new coordinator with the Worship Arts team, based in Queensland. Callum has been in the role for just over a month, supporting local Salvo mission expressions and working with the national team on projects and events.
Callum’s songwriting first caught people’s attention during the COVID pandemic, when an opportunity to have fun on YouTube kickstarted a musical career.
“My wife Lara and I started making these cheesy YouTube videos during COVID,” Callum explains. “We’d write songs and make home videos for them. The videos got some people’s attention. We started some work with the local council, and someone from the Worship Arts teams saw it and reached out. We were invited to write the song for The Salvation Army’s Self-Denial Appeal.”
Callum, who attends Bundamba Salvos in Brisbane’s west, co-wrote the song Hands Could Change a Life. The song was used during the six-week Self Denial Appeal campaign in 2021.
“Lara and I weren’t married at the time we wrote that song,” Callum says. “We were writing as a duo. I’d play guitar, we’d both sing and do harmonies. We had also played live music for Salvation Army events, Red Shield Appeal breakfasts, and camps.”
Worship Arts seeks to support and resource artistic expressions, including music teams, brass bands, choirs, songwriting and composition, dance, timbrels, drama, spoken word, worship tech, graphic design, photography, visual art, multimedia and more. Callum’s new role will support the needs of local Salvo communities while helping to facilitate national events and assist with projects and resourcing.
“I’d say the primary job of our role is to work out how best The Salvation Army can spread the love of Jesus through the arts.”
“A big part of my job is coming alongside the division to help with events or whatever comes my way,” Callum says. “I’m meeting with corps officers, area officers, advocating for people’s needs and asking how we can support them. I’d say the primary job of our role is to work out how best The Salvation Army can spread the love of Jesus through the arts. A facet of that is developing musicians from a technical, and more importantly, character perspective, so they better reflect Jesus.”
Worship Arts runs events, camps for kids, podcasts and training days to help support that creativity in artists across The Salvation Army in Australia. While the team assists with event coordination and resource releases, the heart of the team is to show and grow creativity in The Salvation Army.
“The team organises other creators, finding talented people with stories to share and connecting them so they can be meaningfully used,” Callum explains. “It can help create a sense of identity, to have your own music. That’s a big part of what we do on the Worship Arts team, to involve others as well to write The Salvation Army’s story into song.”
Worship Arts seeks to ‘encourage, support, challenge and develop’ individuals and faith communities in their use of creative arts. The team, and Callum’s role, reaches out to that same creative process that started it all on YouTube and seeks to grow that in others.
“My process is messy,” Callum says. “Sometimes I sit down at the piano, play with some chords, chart out what I like, then leave it and come back to it later. It’s a refinement process. Then, other times, you sit down on the guitar and just write a song in one go.
“If we are creatives and we have a message, it’s on us to write that. Songwriters have a role to play, everywhere. It’s a beautiful thing to share.”